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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2007 Dec-2008 Jan;24(6):499-507. doi: 10.1177/1049909107310063.

Core competencies in palliative care for surgeons: interpersonal and communication skills.

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1
Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA. cbradley@mcw.edu

Abstract

Surgeons are an important part of the multidisciplinary approach to the care of terminally ill and dying patients. Some surgical residencies have recognized the need to incorporate palliative care-related topics into graduate surgical education. One core competency of utmost importance to palliative care is the effective use of interpersonal and communication skills. Four areas of surgical practice are identified where these communication skills are important: during preoperative counseling, when presenting a devastating diagnosis or poor prognosis, when discussing error, and when discussing death. Case examples and recommendations for the appropriate words and actions to use in these scenarios are offered. It is important for both surgeons in practice and those in training to achieve proficiency with these communication skills.

PMID:
18182636
DOI:
10.1177/1049909107310063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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